Written by Be a Blogger for a Day Contest Winner, Michael Petty.
I was sitting at my desk when I received a text message. It was my wife alerting me to the arrival of a package. I love this sort of text, and who wouldn’t? Especially when we’re talking about parts for an AR build! I drove home that day anxiously wanting to get my hands on the new arrival. I arrived, walked inside and proceeded to walk around the table at least a dozen times where the box sat. I like to let the anticipation build and build and it did. I walked around a few more times and couldn’t keep myself from it any longer.
Once inside the box, I have to admit, I was impressed with the packaging. It wasn’t the standard brown cardboard and package materials that impressed me though, it was the treasure inside. The CMMG box containing all the goodies was a work of art! Covering the surface was a CAD-like drawing of the lower parts kit (LPK) as they would be assembled in the receiver. I thought. “Who needs YouTube or fancy schematics with a box like this?” I studied the detailed drawing trying to imagine the parts working together performing their respective tasks. I was beginning to think highly of CMMG. I wondered what else it had in store for me. I hit the CMMG web page to learn more.
I liked what I discovered about the company making these nice LPKs. The company has been in the firearm business going on 12 years, manufacturing both complete rifles as well as parts and parts kits such as the mentioned LPK. They are a God-fearing group of people, which I can certainly admire, and they aren’t afraid to stand behind their products with a lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship. You can do this sort of thing when you do things right. All of their parts are made in the USA. I could hardly wait to see if the parts lived up to CMMG’s claims. I can report that I was not disappointed.
The pistol grip lay loose in the box and other pieces were categorized and contained in color-coded baggies. A detailed information card was included listing all the parts by name and color category. I was ready to open some baggies! This parts kit went in a polymer lower I had been waiting to build up. I’ll admit, first I held the pistol grip in place and aimed my soon-to-be AR out the window into to a field where I imagined coyotes or at least steel targets ready to ring out.
Snapping back to reality, I grabbed the trigger and test fitted it. Like a glove, it fit right into the trigger slot and a quick sight test showed the pinhole was properly aligned. This was the norm for all the parts, from the grip to the take down pins and springs. Everything seemed to be perfectly matched for all the little slots, holes and channels they would call home.
Once I got over the play-and-pretend period, I sat down for the task of assembling the lower. Within 10 minutes, maybe 15, the LPK was assembled. I pulled the hammer back, and the sear caught and held. Holding the hammer and pulling the trigger allowed the hammer to drop slowly without any damage to the lower or other pieces in the kit. Keeping the trigger held to simulate an actual firing cycle, I pulled the hammer back once more and this time the disconnect caught. Perfect! Releasing the trigger allowed the disconnect to let go of the hammer and once more become secured by the sear. Having observed proper operation of parts, I felt even more excitement knowing this was one-step closer to achieving my AR goals.
At this point I was waiting on my upper to arrive. Once in hand for the build and test fit, I would then be ready for a trip to the range. In the meantime, I decided to make a phone call. A good friend had completed several AR builds in different calibers. The phone rang and Gary picked up, “Hey man! Guess what I have?” “No idea,” he replied. I paused for dramatic effect. “I got an AR lower in need of an upper! Can you help a brother out?” I asked. I loved what came next, “What ya want, .223, 9mm, .300…?” The list went on. I responded with, “Let’s just go with .223.” A smart choice as I had a small surplus of ammo in that caliber.
I met Gary the next day at his house; we attached the upper, loaded a mag and let the fun begin! Gary let me go first since it was my ammo, my lower and my newly installed CMMG LPK. I’m still not sure if it was out of respect or for his own safety. I’ve often been ribbed a little about doing all my own work and whether it’s safe or not.
I reminded myself of the quality parts I had chosen, charged the rifle, pulled the stock close to my shoulder, looked through the optic and pulled the trigger. I sent the first .223 round out to the side and down range about 75 yards through a paper target and into a dirt hill backstop. “Whew! That was all right, nothing exploded!” I said with relief. I settled down and fired about 10 more shots at a rapid pace, taking only 2.5 seconds. It wasn’t long before Gary wanted a go at it. He too was impressed with the lower as I reminded him of my quality work, the quality parts, and the deal I had found on this little kit.
The trigger was solid with no creep, just like most other single-stage AR triggers I have pulled. The trigger is of the generic type, but is plenty comfortable on my trigger finger even when firing quick consecutive rounds. I could not detect any burrs, sharp edges or anything to hinder the joy of shooting this would-be AR.
The grip felt nice too, giving enough real estate to know you were holding something. You will never have to wonder what you’re holding with this thing in your hand. The magazines all went in smoothly, held securely and released easily after pressing the magazine release button. The take down pins were easily set and released to attach or remove the upper. From every little spring to the feel of the trigger itself, I am excited to have this kit as a part of my AR build. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality LPK for a custom AR build. Now I wait anxiously for the next text message!
Michael M. Petty lives in North Carolina. He has been married for 20 years and is the father to five children. Even though he works a lot, he still finds time to train and play. His home defense gun of choice is a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun—more effective than a baseball bat! For carry, he chooses a SCCY CPX-2. Currently in the process of building his first AR-15, Michael can hardly wait for it to be complete. He says, “I always said I wanted a shotgun, handgun and then a rifle, things are going along quite nicely. I look forward to sharing in the firearms tradition and continuing it with my children.”